In online blackjack, there are two strategies to employ.
The basic strategy that most players use is Total Dependent Strategy. It relies on a set range of moves depending on your cards and the dealer’s. You can even print out a cheat sheet to help you make your moves.
For example, if you have 15 and the dealer shows a seven, your sheet of optimum moves will tell you to Hit.
Composition Dependent Strategy works in a slightly different way. Instead of just your cards and the dealer’s, it takes into account the other players’ cards and the cards left in the shoe. Let’s take a closer look.
Composition Dependent Strategy in action
Composition Dependent Strategy is ideal for more seasoned blackjack players who want to get a better edge over the casino. Used properly, Composition Dependent can help reduce the house advantage to 0.5%.
The thing to remember is that Composition Dependent Strategy changes as the game changes, it isn’t static like Total Dependent Strategy.
Let’s say you get dealt a 10 and a three for a total of 13. If the dealer shows a two, Composition Dependent Strategy suggest you should hit.
Why? Because one 10 – the one in your hand – has been taken out of the game. The risk of you going bust has reduced.
On the other hand, if you get dealt a 13 without a 10, and the dealer shows a 2, Composition Dependent Strategy says you should stand.
Composition Dependent Strategy works best in a multi-deck game of blackjack where it’s easier to work out what cards are left in the shoe.
Use your cheat sheets wisely
It’s a good idea to have two blackjack strategy cheat sheets handy when utilising Composition Dependent Strategy: one for Total Dependent Strategy and one for Composition Dependent Strategy.
This way, you can see the different moves involved.
For example, let’s compare the suggested moves in Single Deck Blackjack using Total Dependent Strategy. A hard five in both strategies suggest a hit, regardless of what the dealer’s up card is. Similar moves should be used for a hard seven and hard eight.
But if you get dealt a hard 12, Total Dependent Strategy says hit to the dealer’s two, three, seven, eight, nine, 10, or A. With Composition Dependent Strategy, the move depends entirely on how your hand is made up.
A 10 and two is a suggested hit against the dealer’s two, three, four, seven, eight, nine, 10 or A (and a stand on five). But a nine and three is a stand to a four, five, and six. Eight and four is a stand to more cards (three, four, five, and six), as is a 12 made up of a seven and five.
And when it comes to doubling down, Composition Dependent Strategy is much more aggressive. As you can see from our chart, it advocates doubling down on an 8 when the dealer shows a five or six.
It’s these nuances that make the Composition Dependent Strategy so interesting.
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When used well, Composition Dependent Strategy can help reduce the house edge. Not by much, but by just enough to make a difference to your long-term profits.
It’s important to keep track of what is happening at the table too. Follow other players’ cards, remember what has come out of the shoe, and make your move.